Poem By Elizabeth Russell

I remember seeing a photograph of a mother
Holding her daughter -
In a town called Minamata in Japan
Where mercury had been dumped into the water
And this little girl had been born
With birth defects
So severe
That they paralysed me for a moment
But her mother’s face
Shone with the type of love
That could only have been
Reserved for a child who had
Exceeded, achieved, excelled, saved, loved
But this child was
Unable to speak, think, respond
Or move
Her hands clawed
And her face -!
But her mother’s face revealed
A love and compassion so infinitely pure
That it eclipsed
Her daughter’s disability
I wondered at the time
What kind of love did that?
That just by looking at this photograph
My heart could fill with a longing so desperate
That it took my breath away
I had never seen that look before
But I know it now
I see it on my face

Comments about Minamata

How true it is that it takes one mother to recognize that transcending love on another mother's face - child's abilities or lack of them notwithstanding. It is the purest love there is, and I think God looks at us the same way, with a love that is all forgiving and loving. Wonderful, pure, clear work that touches me so deeply. Linda
You know Elizabeth, it is the simplicity of your work that I love. You make it look so easy but you are a very tallented poet and I am truly envious of your ability. I must do something to attract more attention to your work. I will see what I can do. Kind regards Gypsy

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Other poems of RUSSELL

The Football Match

When you asked me to play football with you that day
My life was brightened
By the glow in your eyes
The epiphany I had of my role in your life

The Drunk

I wasn’t always a drunk
Once I was a child - a little girl
Who wanted love
Which she found - in a bottle

The Ocean

The icy, menacing ocean that once tried to lure me
To seek solace from my pain
In its dark, grey, churning waters
Has now become a thing


Your hand in mine
Makes me feel whole
Encourages me
To continue

The Surfer

Even though the sand was littered with pumice stone
And the waves too small
and sparse for the
serious wave riders to